If there’s one thing we hear from our loyal Gonzo groupies, it’s this:
“Boys, how about some free advice? Dear Abby’s gone to the great beyond, Dr. Phil just tells us how fat we are anymore, and my insurance plan just made my counseling sessions an optional service with a $200 deductible! Can’t you fill the void?”
Hoo boy. Wow. How long have we waited for this? Boys and girls, “trusted advisor” is our middle name. And so the Gonz doctor has hung the shingle on the door and is open for business.
Away to our first set of randomly selected letters… … … …
My vendor wants to go all the way with me. He says that we have been in a relationship for years, and it’s time to “take it to the next level of commitment” by having me buy every product and service I don’t have now. He says if I really love him I would do it. Every time we’re together he pressures me to let him sell me. I feel am not ready for that level of commitment, and I have told him that if he really loves me he would will until I am ready. I suspect that this is more about gratification for him than love. Can you help me?
-Confused and Holding Out
It is perfectly understandable that you feel uncertain about this type of commitment. This is a very confusing time in your relationship, where many conflicting emotions surface.
The bottom line is this: you’re right, it is about gratification for him. All of it – the sweet talk, the promises, the cards, the calls – are about getting to that pleasure of the sale. And it never stops. He’s insatiable. Given the chance, he’ll slurp so much pleasure out of the relationship it will remind you of a 50 gallon Shop Vac taking the rainwater off the garage floor when it’s set to “high.”
My advice is to go slowly and make sure it is love before you take that next big step. Then it can be wonderful for both of you.
I think my client is cheating on me. I saw her with another vendor, and they were laughing and touching and carrying on. When I confronted her, she said I was misinterpreting it and that it was just “due diligence” or some such nonsense and that seeing other people would actually strengthen our relationship rather than weaken it. I think this “it’s good for us to see other people” thing is a big phony excuse for cheating and maybe even leaving me for this other pretty boy.
I’m sick about this. What do you think?
-Anxious About the Year-End Bonus
It is perfectly understandable that you are feeling confused and betrayed. Every relationship hits these points, and it can be very stressful.
Here’s the thing. She is cheating. And it won’t stop. You guys are through. It’s over, Bubba. You’re the middle-aged, paunched-out wheezer going through a mid-life crisis right when she’s cuddling up to the 20-something studmuffin with the million dollar smile, washboard abs, and new age sensitivity. Our advice? Load up the freezer with those Baron whatever frozen pizzas and about 20 gallons of Ben and Jerry’s and make sure you have your Blockbuster platinum card current. You’re going to be spending a lot of Saturday nights alone.
I think the other people in my class are laughing at me and talking behind my back. I am a credit union that recently transferred to a bank school and I’m having a hard time fitting in. I think I see them pointing at me and giggling when I’m in the lunch room. Sometimes they stop talking when I walk into rooms and sometimes they pretend to sneeze but instead of ahhh-choooo they yell “tax exempt!”
How can I fit in?
I feel your pain. This is a trying time in your life due to all the changes you are going through. You have to recognize that you are a good person, and hope that they will learn to recognize you for your good qualities. If that doesn’t work, try this – you fake a sneeze but right in the middle of it yell “golden parachute!”
That ought to do it.
My “partner” doesn’t listen to me any more. When our relationship first started, he called me all the time and sent cards and stuff. Now, it’s a how-do-you-do at the annual users meeting and off to the next prospect. Never mind that I would want some help on how to use systems better! I feel like we’re going nowhere and he doesn’t care. How can I put the spark back in our relationship?
-Stuck in the User Mud
These are perfectly normal feeling you are having. Every couple needs to invigorate a relationship now and then.
Our advice? Why don’t you sit down, talk to him, and tell him how you feel? If talking doesn’t work, take some time and write him a letter that outlines your hopes and feelings for the future. And don’t forget to use the phrase “material breach” at least once or twice in the letter. Oh, and cc your attorney.
Our experience is that this can get the spice back in a relationship fast. You’ll feel like a teenager at the drive-in in no time!
I’m a father who can’t get my daughter and son, I.T. and User, to stop fighting. It seems like they are oil and water lately. User constantly complains that I.T. doesn’t listen and always promises to do things but delivers late. He has given her the nickname “uh, system’s down.” I.T. just responds that User doesn’t know what he wants, complains about nothing, and refers to him as “Mr. ever cracked a manual?” I’ve tried the “don’t make me pull this car over while I’m driving” threat, but that flopped. I’m stumped. Is this just a teenage thing?
Well, you are certainly justified in your frustration. Here you work hard to create a happy home. The reward you get? These ungrateful whelps!
Well, our first idea is a daily serving for each of a large, frosty can of kick butt, but you already probably thought of that. Here’s our suggestion – how about telling them that until you see them getting along, they have to attend the household sales training sessions on every even-numbered day and Dale Carnegie courses on the odd-numbered days? We think either they’ll learn not to fight, or else after a month they’ll be so addled it won’t matter. Either way, problem solved!
I’m almost embarrassed to be writing about this. I think of myself as a progressive, forward thinking person. I want to hire a consultant to help me with planning, reengineering and systems. The problem is my CEO. Every time I suggest hiring a consultant, he bursts out laughing, starts making jokes about consultants being people who charge you for your watch and then tell you what time it is, asks me if I have mush for brains, then changes the subject.
Any way you can help me here?
-Needs Consulting Help
You have serious problem here. This is bad. Oh, man, this is really bad. So, listen carefully.
First, you need to send me your address, the office telephone number, and exact, and I mean exact, location of the CEO’s office in your complex. Then you need to take a vacation out of state. A week, two max. When you get back, the problem will be solved. Take my word on this.
Whew! Well, there’s nothing that gives us a better feeling than making lives just a little bit better every day. Keep those problems coming. Remember, in French Gonzo means “here to help.”